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Personal Injury Claim Timeframe in QLD

All personal injury claims are governed by strict, mandatory, and legislated timeframes that must be adhered to. Once the time for bringing a claim of personal injury lapses, there must be an exceptional circumstance for the delay for the claim to be accepted, and this is usually determined by the court.

The overarching legislation governing timeframes in personal injury claims is the Limitations of Actions Act 1974 (Qld). This legislation states that a claim for personal injury must be brought within three (3) years from the date that the incident occurred.

There are three (3) main pieces of legislation that govern personal injury claims. They are:

  1. Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld);
  2. Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld); and
  3. Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld).

Each of the above Acts have different timeframes which are to be complied with when bringing a claim under that Act. According to our personal injury claim lawyer, each of the respective Acts are outlines below:

Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (“WCRA”)

The WCRA states that a claim for compensation must be lodged within six (6) months after the entitlement to compensation arises. The case law tells us that the six (6) month time limit begins on the date a doctor assessed a worker as having a work-related injury.

There are exceptions to this timeframe within the WCRA where the Insurer must waive the six (6) month timeframe in special circumstances of a medical nature, decided by a medical assessment tribunal. This provision is aimed to address the situation where a worker’s injury deteriorates and becomes chronic overtime, such as dust or other respiratory diseases.

The Insurer may waive the time frames if the Insurer is satisfied that

  1. A doctor, nurse practitioner or dentist has assessed the injury as resulting in total or partial incapacity for work and the claimant lodged the application within twenty (20) business days after that assessment; or
  2. The claimant’s failure to lodge the application was due to a mistake, the claimant is absent from the state, or there is some other reasonable cause.

Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld) (“MAIA”)

A Notice of Accident Claim form (“NOAC”) must be served on the relevant Compulsory Third Party (“CTP”) Insurer within nine (9) months from the date of the accident or within one (1) month of consulting a lawyer about making a Claim.

If the CTP Insurer of the other driver cannot be identified, the NOAC must be served on the Nominal Defendant, who is in essence the State of Queensland, within three (3) months from the date of the accident.

The MAIA allows for a NOAC to be served on the relevant CTP Insurer outside of the statutory timeframes so long as a reasonable excuse for the delay Is provided with the NOAC.

Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) (“PIPA”)

PIPA required a Notice of Claim form (“NOC”) to be served on the relevant respondent (the person or company responsible for the accident) within nine (9) months from the accident or onset of symptoms or within one (1) month from consulting a lawyer, whichever is earlier.

A delay in serving the NOC within this timeframe will require an explanation to the Court and may result in the claim being barred.

Timeframes in personal injury claims are important. They ensure that potential claimants do not procrastinate or delay bringing an action. Further, any delay to bringing a claim may prejudice a claimant or Insurer through vital evidence being lost or unattainable after the fact.

Claimants who have been injured must not delay bringing a claim for compensation, or their entitlements may be banned. Our team at MCG Legal can guide you not only with time frames but also through your personal injury claim matter to ensure your best outcome. We work on No Win No Fee basis for all personal injury claim maters

Related Articles: The role of a Personal Injury Lawyer, Worker’s Compensation if you’re injured working from home.

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